If you look at the current slate of emojis on your phone, they leave a little something to be desired when it comes to both job prospects and breaking free of gender stereotypes. While there is a male police officer and construction worker (and a Santa Claus), the only options ladies get are princess and bride. A little retrograde and ridiculous, right?
This week, four Google employees presented 13 new female emojis (and 13 male counterparts, for a total of 26) to the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that develops standards for digital text across multiple platforms and languages and approves each new batch of emojis. The new icons depict career paths ranging from medicine to music, with an emphasis on jobs in STEM fields.
Citing the United Nations’s mandate for gender equality, Hillary Clinton's campaign for president and the U.S. Treasury Department's recent announcement that Harriet Tubman's image will soon be on the $20 bill, the authors wrote, "No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before. Isn’t it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?"
Earlier this spring, feminine hygiene company Always put out a well-received campaign speaking to this issue, and First Lady Michelle Obama even weighed in.
The proposal also noted that 78 percent of women are frequent emoji users (compared to 60 percent of men) and emojis are used most frequently by women under 30, so it seems fitting to provide a variety of images of working women to these users. The Google team wants to standardize these new emojis and get them onto smartphones by the end of 2016. Best of all, the 26 new options will give entrepreneurs a slew of avatars to choose from, regardless of industry or gender.